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Foreign banks boost their US push

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Both BNP Paribas and Barclays Capital are beefing up their push into the highly competitive US fixed-income markets by setting up new regional offices there to get closer to key institutional clients. Barclays Capital CEO Bob Diamond opened his bank's new institutional sales office in Boston at the beginning of last month and BNP Paribas set up a fixed-income institutional sales desk in San Francisco at the end of June.

The Boston office will have six staff serving the northeast of the US, led by Tom Dimond and Robert Earl, both hired from Goldman Sachs in April. Dimond will be responsible for investment-grade credit products and Earl will cover cash and derivatives rates coverage. BNP Paribas has moved Ken Austin, a director in its credit derivatives business in New York, to San Francisco to head the new operation and has appointed two new sales people. It has hired Deborah Kelley, previously managing director of fixed-income sales at ABN Amro, as a director and Jonathan Saunders from Banc One Capital Markets as an associate.

Both foreign banks have stressed the importance of being geographically close to major institutional clients to improve investor coverage and grow their US fixed-income businesses.

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